Is your campaign-mindset limiting your digital performance?

It’s Time to Kill the Campaign

The biggest limiter to success in digital media fundraising is turning your media off, which is what happens with time-based, episodic campaigns. To achieve massive success in new donor acquisition and cultivation in digital media, you have to shift your mindset away from campaigns to an evergreen approach.

At Masterworks, we call this approach Always On®. Organizations using this approach are acquiring donors at better than breakeven ROAS and for many, this channel is approaching — or eclipsing — the number of new donors they acquire in direct mail.

Think of Always On like an engine that you start up once and then fine-tune for performance over time. Each day your media is in the market is an opportunity to collect more data that can be used to optimize your targeting, buying approach, offer statement, and creative, maximizing your marketing and fundraising efforts.

Let’s explore three reasons a campaign mindset is limiting your digital media efforts.

1: You’re thinking about your timeline, not your audience’s.

Donors — and especially prospects — don’t live by your campaign calendar. New donors aren’t waiting for your fiscal year-end match to give their first gift, nor are they waiting until GivingTuesday to figure out what to do with that extra $1000 that’s been burning in their pockets.

Assuming this may mean you are canceling your momentum by arbitrarily limiting spend in some places and not spending enough in others. It may also mean your creative strategy is too focused on messaging around the What and When in your worldview and not messaging enough around the What and When in theirs.

Donors decide to give when they feel compelled to. That can happen on December 31 just as much as it can happen on January 1 — if you are there to compel them.

2: You’re turning your focus to the next effort and not to what’s already working better.

Oftentimes, digital media ads are a reminder to give, not a reason to give. We are constantly trying to think up new things to get donors to give to, and not spending enough time listening to the performance data in refining the giving opportunities that are in market. Because every time you introduce a new effort, you lose the campaign data learnings you’ve just achieved.

3: You’re already stretched too thin and making it harder on yourself.

So, how many efforts and campaigns did COVID-19 disrupt for you? How quickly were you able to adapt your strategy and get relevant offers into market?

When you’re working at a non-profit, chances are you’re wearing a lot of hats and are feeling stretched, or inversely, maybe you’ve been given the task of managing your agency’s relationship with your organization and just need to find things to keep busy. Either way, campaign hopping is a great way to add in a whole lot of work and a whole lot of rigidity that maybe you don’t really need.

If you’ve got an effective Always On approach running, you may be surprised by how much efficiency it can create and how many cycles it can open up for you to do things that really matter — like being able to respond to real needs and real marketing opportunities in real-time.